If you have a very important client meeting that you just have to attend but your child happens to be sick, would you still go to the meeting?
This was the question asked to me last week by a friend who also happens to be my boss. Without second thought I told him, I’ll stay with my kids. Unfortunately, for most guys, unless it’s life threatening, they would choose to go ahead with their meetings, especially if they can find someone to attend to their kids.
This is the reality of being a mom, or at least MY reality as a mom. Even with a husband who can look after them and parents who would gladly take my place, I know for myself, that I can never let someone else be by their side in times of discomfort. Knowing that it’s “Mommy” who they’ll be calling to make them feel better, I can never be able to bring myself to put other things first.
I’ll still stay with my kids and miss the meeting because I’m a mom.
So how does motherhood affect my performance at work? To be honest, until just recently, I have always thought that it didn’t. Sure, I have several instances that I can’t do my job right away because I have to be a mom first, but I’ve always managed to work around my responsibility as a mom and pulled through what is expected of me at work. I even believe that there are several instances that I’ve risen above it. But no matter how much dedication I put in my career, time will come that I need to choose who or what would come first. And because I have already decided long before that my kids will always be first, I have to accept the fact that I need to slow down with my career.
I used to hate it when people think that I will not be as effective because I have a lot on my plate at home. Up until last week, I was even arguing that I can give as much as anyone in our company when it comes to dedication and devotion. That though my career just comes second to my kids, that it shouldn’t be the basis of how much I can offer. That I can still measure up to the fathers and those whose lives revolve around their job.
Well, I still believe that I can measure up to most people and even out-performed them. But somehow, after being ask this question, I suddenly realize that I should stop convincing people that being a mom will not affect my work. Because in reality, it does. No matter how little or insignificant it may be, it does change a lot of things. That even though I know for myself that I can pull through every task that is handed to me despite putting my kids first, that their worries to what I can really offer is as valid as my hope in them in understanding that I am a mom.
So today, I begin the process of acceptance. To accept my own limitation because of the choices I decided to take. And to accept how people will see me because of these choices. I have no regrets with the choices I’ve made up until now, and so I should also stop defending myself. How people view me because of them are their own, and I can only respect their opinions. Whether it’s a plus or minus on my part as a working mom only matter if I let it affect me.